Donald Trump on Politics and Business CSPAN May 31, 2014 9:31pm-10:20pm EDT
"how to think like a billionaire." donald trump has also flirted with politics. suggesting but then dropping the idea of a presidential run in 2000 as a third party candidate, and in later years as a republican candidate. he also considered then dropped the idea of running for governor of new york this year. and most recently trump has raised the possibility that he might want to make a bid to buy the nfl's buffalo bills. through it all trump has been a careful manager of his own brand. he's been highly successful in business in part because he has made managing that brand central to his strategy. self-branding is a concept journalists never considered a few decades ago. today, though, many journalists make an attempt to heed the advice trump outlined in a 2008 book chapter, i quote, "you are
literally your own brand whether you have a business or not. if you are serious about what you are doing, take a responsibility for building your own brand, that starts now." trump is here today to tell us about building the trump brand. let me say, mr. trump, your brand i'm convinced helped generate a sellout crowd today in the ballroom at the national press club, including people standing in the balcony, we did so in the matter of days. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming to the national press club, mr. donald trump. [applause] >> thank you very much. this is a great group. thank you. if it sold out so fast, the first question i asked myron today is why didn't you raise ticket prices? you could have raised money? that's all branding. 25 bucks, that's so cheap. he said it's the same whether it
doesn't sell at all or whether it sells out like crazy. i think they are going to revisit that. are you going to? you're thinking about it. it's an honor to be with you. i will tell you this that our country, which i love very dearly, is in serious trouble. but the old post office building, right down the road on pennsylvania avenue, is not. it is going to be spectacular. we are building something that's going to be amazing. we are going to be spending more than $200 million. when it's completed in a very short period of time, probably about 18 months, it will be one of the great hotels of the world, and you'll have it right here in washington. it's going to be really something. [applause] we are building projects all over the world. doral, you know about doral in miami. that was sort of a another thing. we looked to buy and fix and make them great. and we'd like to get the right ones. doral is 800 acres right smack in the middle of miami, right next to the airport. tiger woods won the tournament a
year ago. he was there again this year. hurt his back, unfortunately, he will be back. i hope. tiger will be back. we have had tremendous success with doral, and we have rebuilt it. it's been an incredible thing. i just got back from dubai, and it was interesting. we were in the middle east, and somebody said a very wealthy person over there was smelling the air, you could smell it will a little sense of like a gasoline smell or oil smell. they said, oh, donald, i love that smell. it means money. now, in this country you're not allowed to have that because the environmentalists don't let you have it. i, by the way, happen to be in my own way an environmentalist. i've gotten many, many awards. we can't go to the extent where the country suffers. and the country is suffering greatly. we build all over the world. we get to know people all over the world. and we have a lot of fun.
we have a lot of fun doing it. when i spoke with the national press club, they asked me would i speak about branding and talking about branding, and what makes branding so special and so important. there are a lot of things. it started with me, very early on, by having success. when you're successful, that sort of creates a little bit of a brand. and then i get a number of billings. i started in brooklyn, with my father, brooklyn and queens, and we had some good successes. hi some good successes. it's a little bit in sports. if you sink that first three footer in golf, you have confidence for the rest of the round. if you get a home run when you are at-bat, you have confidence. well, when you have early success, it gives you confidence. i had a lot of lot of early success. hi a wonderful mentor, wonderful father, fred trump, who loved brooklyn real estate. loved brooklyn. he spent a lot of time there. never wanted to come into manhattan. he just loved queens and brooklyn because that's what he knew. he was good at it. i learned negotiators from him and contractors and how they can rip you off. there is nobody smarter than a
contractor who can't read or write. they are smarter than wharton, they are smarter than harvard. these are geniuses. you can imagine what's going on because you see what's going on in the country. i hear that the website for obamacare is up to $5 billion for a website. i do websites. and of they cost $3. you hire some guy. or some woman. they could be young, they could be old. i got in trouble, you hire some young guy. they said, well, what about older people? you can hire anybody to do a website. you know what? i have some of the best websites in the world. you can look at every one of my projects as a website. some are very complex. they cost us peanuts if you know what you're doing. we are up to almost $5 billion and it's really -- obviously it's a very, very sad thing. so in terms of branding, you have success. whether it's doral, whether it's
many, many jobs that i built, but what happened about 20 years ago i built a building, fifth avenue and 57th street, called trump tower. it's been tremendously successful. right next to tiffany. i bought the air rights over tiffany, if i had the right to call it tiffany tower, that was before people knew about trump so much. i was doing really well. real estate. the world didn't know too much about trump. perhaps it was a better place if you think about it. i had the right to do something and a lot of people said you have to do it. that was call it, tiffany power. i bought that right. i was going to call it tiffany tower. hi a friend who was very smart and streetwise guy. what do you think about calling the building tiffany tower. when you change your name to tiffany call it tiffany tower.
i gave up a valuable right and called it trump tower and it was a tremendous success. many other buildings all over new york. and then all over the world. we are doing some incredible things in the middle east. we are doing some incredible things in china and asia. we are doing some incredible -- we have a magnificent hotel that opened recently in panama. it's been tremendous. they have been successful. and it feeds on itself. perhaps the brand gets better and better. i think it all began with the great success of trump tower. best location in new york. most visible building. most -- highest retail space anywhere in the world. gucci is there, my primary tenant. nowhere in the world you get rents like you get on that one block. i always heard the tiffany location. that's the best location. who would have thought i someday would have the tiffany location. that's what happened. so the success really fed on itself. and then i did a book thinking, you know, what's the big deal with doing a book? i'll do a book.
it was exciting, and random house was the publisher. it was called, "the art of the deal." it became the number one best-selling book on "the new york times" list and every list for many, many months and almost a full year. and i remember on the fictional side it was bonfire of the vanities and us. these were the two books. the whole year. "trump the art of the deal" and "bonfire of vanities" and it was a great honor. it was great thing to have a number one selling book. it turned out to be probably, according to everybody's count, the biggest selling business book of all time. there's never been a business book that sold like trump, the art of the deal. it was such a great honor. that's branding. then i had the apprentice. the apprentice was interesting. mark, who was hot at the time, young. smart. he was renting the skating rink. the city took eight years,
couldn't get it open. i took it over, got it opened in three months for a fraction of the cost. that was a pretty well-known thing. that was pretty well-known. tells you about government. i'm talking about all government. but that was a disaster. the rink just wouldn't open. my daughter here, who is so wonderful, i wanted her to go ice skating. ivanka, she's here with us. she kept saying, daddy, do you think i'll ever be able to go ice skating? i went to see ed koch, the mayor, do me a favor. can i build it? i go down there and watch and they would have three -- massive space. they would have 300 or 400 people sitting in the rink doing nothing for years. so i said let me take it over. i took it over. very interesting story about the rink. when the city designed it they went to a refrigeration company from miami. who wants refrigeration -- they do refrigerators but they don't do ice skating rinks. they recommended a, what's
called freon, a gas that goes through a copper pipe. and if you have one little hole, there's miles of it, like a pin hole, it doesn't work because the gas escapes. so they couldn't get it to make the ice because they would have a pin hole. besides that everybody would steal it. they put this beautiful copper piping down and the tubing would be all over the rink and they go back the next day and it was gone. people were stealing it. it wasn't working. they poured it down. finally they poured and it never worked because there were like 4,000 little holes all over the place. what did i do? first thing i did was say wait a minute, there must be something wrong. so i sent up to the montreal canadiens. if you want to make ice, you call the canadians, right? there's nothing wrong with a little canadian help. i spoke to somebody at the montreal canadiens. they were nice, sent somebody down. he said mr. trump they are using the wrong system. they are using gas. and explained how you can't capture it. what we want is brine.
brine is water with salt in it. ok. and the tubing isn't copper that costs a fortune. it's rubber. so we put the tubing down. then i'll never forget, the surface is so massive, we had cement mixers backed up all the way to harlem. we did one pour. they went all the way back up to harlem. all the way through the park. and i had it built in three months. after 8 1/2 years. believe me, most of it was demolition. most of it was demolition. things can be done. if you look at government and if you look at what happens. so we are at the rink and mark brunette and cbs leased it because they were having the finale of "survivor." they built a village in the middle of the rink and it was live television. and he said i'd like to see donald trump. is that possible? i said sure, let me see. we met. he said i have an idea i want to do but i'll only do it if it's you. and he turned out to be right
about that because they had 15 copies of "the apprentice" i and i love it. all of them failed and failed badly. they failed like you never saw. don't we love that when your opponents fail? i love it. i don't know about you. i'm not sure our country loves it. i love it. what happens is so they had 15 copies. i could give you names, but maybe i will anyway. you had mark cuban copy, total failure. lasted for two nights. martha stewart. richard branson. tommy hilfiger. all these copies, they had 15 all together. they were all off. mark said to me, you know, i'd love to do it -- and i had an agent. you believe i had a hollywood agent. the biggest. he said, don't do it. i said it's too late. i shook hands with mark brunette. he said what difference does that make? it's hollywood. handshake doesn't mean anything in hollywood. i said but i shook hands.
he said, donald, 97% of the shows that go on television fail. i didn't know that. what do i know? i never did television before. he said, of the one that is make it they don't make it big and you'll have a great embarrassment. in the history of television there's never been a business-type show that worked. so i said i still have a problem. i wish i knew this before. i would have never done t i shook his hand. it means a lot in life. it means a lot even toward branding. i don't want to do it. i called mark, i said do you think i could get out of it? he said you shook my hand. so we did it. so the show opens. and it opened at number 10, which is massive. when you're number 10, that's a big show. it opens at number 10. it goes down to number eight. it then goes down to number five. in three weeks. it then goes to two and then goes to one. and i knew how big it was because the head of nbc television and the head of nbc called me up. i never met him. he said, it was 7:00 in the morning. and he called me up he said,
donald, hello, i just wanted to wish you happy birthday. i said i never spoke to the guy. called me for a happy birthday. he's showing weakness. you have to remember. i get call from the chairman of nbc, fantastic guy, he calls and he said, happy birthday, donald. is everything good? i'm feeling great, thank you very much. my wife said, who was that? that was the chairman of nbc. they wished me a happy birthday before you did. so i knew that i had a big hit. and it went on and on, and the interesting thing is that was in the age of friends. that was the last year of "friends." we started and took their place. i'm just saying to myself this is something. and it just tells you about branding. you never know what's going to happen. you have to take risks in life. you just have to do it. the end result of that story, though, is the agent called me.
he goes, mr. trump, i'd like to see you at your earliest convenience. about what? i think i'm entitled to a commission. your show went to number 1. you have the number one show on television. and i honestly think i'm entitled to a commission. i said, jim, you didn't want to do the show. you told me don't do the show. you told me break the deal. what are you talking about? i said, by the way, what kind of money are you talking about? he said, would $3 million be fair? i said, jim, you're fired. i fired him. that was the last i ever heard about the guy. but it's all about winning. like i'm watching over here and this guy, buffalo news, he's telling me buffalo news is doing great. good, right? i'm seeing these questions. hundreds of questions coming. and a couple of them i see, couple of them, i said please don't ask that question. but i'm looking at him. i was saying to myself as i'm watching, that leadership and branding and all of that kind of success to a large extent it's about winning.
if you don't win, people aren't going to follow you. now, there are other qualities and i believe strongly in compassion. a lot of people don't know that about me. but i have great feelings of compassion for people and helping people. making people thrive and love their life and take care of people. and we need great health care in this country. obamacare's not working. it's a disaster. we need great health care. you can have great, great health care much better than we have now for much less money if you have people that really have compassion and really know what they are doing. i was thinking to myself as i was looking at all these numbers of questions about leadership, because one of them was about leadership, i said to him, you know, it's about winning. vince lombardi was a great coach. i'll never forget, i was in a room with one of his players, four times the size of vince lombardi, and it was at a club, and i'm sitting with the player. the player was full of bravado. all of a sudden vince lombardi, a small guy in stature, walked
in. and this football player was petrified. petrified. i said, are you ok? he looked like he was ready to have a heart attack. young, strong guy. petrified. you have had other coaches that were rough, tough guys. but you know what happens, you see it all the time, you have seen it here, right in washington, when you don't win, they don't get away with being tough. when you win, they can be as tough as they want. it's about winning. now, you look at branding and you look at what's happening and i told you the story about trump the art of the deal, and "the apprentice" and i'll tell you today you have twitter, facebook, and instagram, and all these other amazing things, i have millions of followers. millions. i don't do a press release. if i do it i put it on twitter. i have a press release. it's like owning "the new york times" without the losses if you think about it. you have millions of people
watching. if i want to say something, i just put it out. i'm reading stories about it the next day. it's fantastic. i love it. i sit there at 3:00 in the morning, ding, ding, ding. our country is going to hell. we must stop t we need leadership. i keep saying the same thing. nobody's listening. it's largely true. you look at the united states and let's look at branding. we haven't had a success in years. where have we had a success? i wrote down just a few things coming down. we have nothing. the v.a., the veterans administration, catastrophic. benghazi, catastrophic. russia. putin has an 80% popularity in this country. i thought they didn't like him a year ago. but he's so outsmarting the united states. all of a sudden the people in russia like him. you have us, we are fighting,
and another country wants to come in -- they love russia. we send in our pollsters. guess what? they want to form with russia. how are we involved? we are involved in this. isn't europe supposed to be involved? they don't want to get involved because they don't want to anger russia. we get it. why? then you have china. now, the old time curse, i love politics and i have been studying politics, and despite what myron was saying, i never said i was running, other than i said i might run, i never did. but everybody thinks -- i made a speech in new hampshire years ago for a friend of mine, because i made a speech, everybody said i was running for president. which i wasn't. i did give it serious consideration. i don't know what happened to mitt romney. it looked like he was doing fine. i was leading in every poll. i love what i'm doing. i love building the old post office. i love building doral. i love building panama. i love building all these buildings we are doing.
i just love it. i love what i'm doing. it's why do i it well. i tell it to people. what's the secret to success? you got to love what you're doing. i would prefer not running. and i did prefer not running. i'm the only person -- i'm a private company. nobody knows what i'm worth. nobody has any idea. forbes, nobody knows. some people say $10 billion. they say $2 billion. they say $3.9 billion. so accurate. 3.9. they have no idea. and i'm the only candidate in history -- because there were a lot of people -- do you think trump is really rich? i'm the only candidate in history that filed a financial disclosure statement that wasn't running. think of it. i'm not running. a lot of people said, he'll never run because he doesn't want to reveal his finances. i said, hey, i'll reveal them. i'm proud of what i did. i built a great company. very proud of it. one of the reasons, i think ivanka can tell you this better than me. we won for the old post
office. i think we had a better concept. that was a highly sought after project. everybody wanted it. obviously it's pennsylvania avenue. it's an amazing building. i think it's the tallest building in washington because they have the zoning restrictions now. that was in the 1880's. you know one of the reasons we won is because my financial statement was so strong. they want to make sure it gets done. the g.s.a. did a very professional job. i have to tell you. they want to make sure it gets done. for us it's an easy project. you have people bidding that couldn't handle it. others that could but we are going to do a fantastic job. when i look at what's going on and when i see the country -- where, just tell me where -- i wrote a couple other things down. china, russia. they just got together. i have always heard the big curse on this country will always be if china and russia unify and get together. they just made one of the biggest deals ever made.
china, our great friend -- by the way, i have great respect for china. i have many chinese friends. they live in my buildings all over the place. they give me $30 million, $40 million, am i supposed to dislike them? i like them very much. i have more oligarchs living in my buildings. i bought a house in palm beach, ivanka can tell you, i bought $40 million, and i fixed it. i call it -- you have a $40 million fixer upper, that's what i have. i bought it as a real estate deal. a mile down the road there was a house of a man who fell on very hard times, nice guy. he fell on very, very hard times. went down the tubes to put it mildly. and his house was sold by the bank. it was sold at a bankruptcy auction. i bought it, i paid $40 million, i sold it for $100 million and sold it to a russian who then announced his wife is suing him for divorce and wants the house. she just won $4 billion supposedly in the proceedings.
i looked at it and i see that. and i say to myself, where is the united states doing well? russia and china now are unifying and they are getting together. then you have iraq. ok. we spend $2 trillion in iraq. $2 trillion. think of this number. this number is not even a number -- 10 years ago you didn't hear the word trillion. we spend $2 trillion. more importantly, thousands of lives, including lives on the other side, by the way. ok. some people say, who cares -- i care. destroyed. and what we did is we took this country and so weakened it. it was always iran and iraq. they fight. one country would go two feet over here. then after 10 years it settled and start over again. they had -- we destroyed that country.
but we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, tens of thousands of wounded warriors all over the streets you see them, we can't even call them. they won't even return our call because china's buying their oil, china thinks we are truly the dumbest people on earth. china now is buying a big portion of their oil. they are being controlled by iran, which i said a long time ago, and then when i said the statement, because it looked to me like it was going down the tubes, why don't we take their oil? we are at war. people said what a terrible thing to say. now you call iraq, they won't even take our phone call. think of it. now an interesting thing happened in afghanistan. nobody knew that afghanistan has tremendous minerals and tremendous wealth in minerals. everybody thought this was a country that didn't have that. but they have tremendous wealth in minerals.
we are fighting over here and on the other side of the mountain china is brilliantly, i didn't say negatively, they are smart. they are brilliantly taking the minerals. we are fighting here. big mountains. china is take the minerals on the other side. and i say to myself, how is it possible that we can be so stupid? an interesting thing happened the other day. i'm reading the front page of the "new york times." number one story, we can't make a deal with japan. for agriculture. think of this. we can't make a deal. japan will not allow our farmers to put food and sell food in japan. i like the japanese, too. i like everybody that buys apartments from trump, ok? i respect them. i respect people. the fact their leaders are much smarter than our leaders, doesn't make me dislike them. i'm reading this article that japan won't let us even think about putting our food in japan. and then i'm looking at boats.
millions of cars pouring into this country, tax free, made in japan, and i'm saying, who are our negotiators? if i was negotiating i'd say fellows, you're going to take our food and you're going to love it. you're going to love our food. i mean, the food is peanuts compared to what we are talking about. peanuts. so you say to yourself, how is it possible that japan would have the nerve to say, we are not going to take small potatoes, farming goods, from united states farmers, great product, everybody admits that, it's not like it's tainted or problems, it's great product, better than what they can do, so they say we are not taking your product, but by the way we are selling you millions of cars. look at the size of these massive car companies. and it's because of the united states. no tax. so all you have to do if you're sitting down -- i guarantee you this. if i was the negotiator for that deal, you would be -- you would
have so much food pouring into japan right now they wouldn't know what to do with it. they wouldn't know what to do with it. i say to myself, why aren't we smart? we used to be brilliant. we used to be a brilliant country. we are not a brilliant country anymore. we are a foolish country. we are a dumb country. we have leadership that is either something wrong with them or they are not intelligent or there's something wrong. maybe it's lobbyists. i hear the lobbyists are so powerful in washington. maybe it's lobbyists. maybe you have to do something about that because maybe japan and maybe the middle eastern states. look at this i heard a number today that since 1931 we have more oil reserves in this country in terms of storage reserves than we have had since 1931. think of that. yet the price is at an all-time high. i went to wharton, greatest business school in the world. did i say a good thing?
the wharton club, great club. i went to wharton. i will tell you that the very basics of that are that prices come tumbling down. here we have and we are buying from opec, and we are buying from saudi arabia also great relationships with the people in saudi arabia, they cannot believe, by the way -- they are friends of mine. they can't believe how stupid we are. they tell me, hey, donald, we are getting away with it. i say you're right. saudi arabia's making, think of this, a billion a day a balance a day. so much money what they are doing there is unbelievable. you look at our airports. you look at your airport here. you look at your airport la guardia and kennedy and newark and l.a.x. in los angeles. they are like, third world country airports. falling apart. they have floors inside that are so old. when they fix them, they don't fix them with terrazzo, they fix them with asphalt.
so you're walking, you have terrazzo that's tired in the main terminal. then they put black asphalt from a road. our roads are falling apart. our bridges are falling apart. in china they are building 24 bridges, most of which are bigger than the george washington bridge. massive bridges, massive construction. they are taking our jobs. we don't even know it. then the president of china comes over. we have a state dinner for him. honoring him. he's laughing all the way back to china. it's all branding. when you look at the things going on -- in afghanistan we are spending tremendous amounts of money and president karzai, as you know, our president flew in to afghanistan, and president karzai, who is getting sacks and sacks of cash -- they are getting $50 million in cash. i mean green. and i want to know who is the
soldier that's delivering the cash? that's what i want to know. do you trust somebody -- they are carrying satchels of cash because they are paying off the tribal leaders and warlords. it's incredible. 50 million i want to know who are these people doing this. karzai said, i won't meet with the president and won't meet him at the plane. you have the president of the country who spent i guess close to $1 trillion there also, lands, and the president doesn't have the decency to come and pay his respects, even to just shake his hand. and i say to myself, that's very bad branding. because when you get right down to it, that's what we are talking about. that's pretty bad. it's pretty sad. so you look at libya, you look at syria, the line in the sand. remember the famous line in the sand? nothing was done. not that it should be done and not we should being involved, because we shouldn't. you don't say we are going to do this and do that and then they do it and then you don't follow up.
by the way, i don't want them to follow up, but you should have never made the statement. so, we are in very, very serious trouble. i just ask you what positive thing has happened to this country in the last 10 years? it includes bush, i'm not a bush fan, believe me. he got us into iraq. i think obama should have gotten us out faster. bush got us into iraq. i am no bush fan. anybody that knows me knows that. but what's happened -- can we say that the economy's booming? no. can we say unemployment -- unemployment is a totally phony number.
if you stop looking for a job they take you off the unemployment rolls like you have the job. we don't make our products anymore. they are made mostly in china and other countries. mexico is doing phenomenally well.
phenomenally. that's going to be the new china as far as making products. look what's going on in mexico. and you say to yourself, isn't that sad? isn't that a shame? now, the good news is we have tremendous potential. tremendous potential. we have power over china that you wouldn't believe. china sells their product to us, no tax. no tax. and yet they'll manipulate their currency so that our people cannot compete with their product. we make better products than them, by the way, but we can't compete because of the manipulation, which is in the history of the world, there has never been a better or smarter currency manipulation than that done by china. all you have to do is say, folks, it's going
to end. it's going to end now. and if it doesn't end, we are going to throw a little tax on you that every product you sell in this country it's going to be a 25% tax. the number should be 48% based on their manipulation.
i want to be nice. we'll settle at 25%. you won't even have to do the tax because everything would stop. same thing with japan with the cars. i mean it's the same thing. so simple. but we don't have the right people. i don't know who these people are. where do they find these people? i assume they are diplomats. they are incompetent. we have incompetent people running the country. now, obamacare is having a devastating effect on the country. and they say whoever becomes president 2016 is going to be a catastrophic year for the economy, because you know all of the problems of obamacare and other things were delayed until 2016. somebody's going to have a real problem. they better get smart. and the republicans better get smart because they are going to inherit a mess like has never been inherited before ever, ever before. so the good news is we have
tremendous potential with proper leadership. tremendous. we can turn it around so fast. we are sitting on energy that's bigger than all of them, almost. we are sitting on massive amounts of dollars coming out of the ground. we don't use that. even the pipeline, keystone pipeline, i don't even care that much about it. i say build it because it's jobs and all that. but we don't need canada's oil. we don't need canada's oil and gas. we don't need anything from anybody. but build it anyway. it's jobs. it's environmentally very good. and it should be built. it's amazing that it hasn't been built. and obama's having a hard time with it. some of the people that don't want it to be built, they are people on wall street. i know them. you know why they don't want it to be built? they are invested in oil and gas and they don't want to bring down the price. it's not that they are great environmentalists. look at these people. they couldn't people -- people couldn't give a crap about the environment. they are invested heavily in oil and gas. they don't want the competition.
our politicians sit back and say wow, he gave a lot of money in the democratic party n this case. gave a lot of money to the democratic party, we have to be nice to him and others. so it's a very, very sad thing. i would say that i very proud of am this country, but i would say if we don't act quickly it's going to be very, very hard to bring it back. we are very, very far out on a limb. something has to take place and it has to take place quickly. our people have to be taken care of. in order to take care of people, we need wealth. we don't want to cut social security. we don't want to cut medicare or medicaid. i'm different from a lot of republicans. they keep talking about budget. i keep saying, build the country up so you don't have to worry about social security. it's peanuts compared to the numbers you are talking about if we knew what we were doing. we have to take our business back from china and other countries. we have to take it back.
and you will see, i said it, winning. it's about winning. we've got to start winning. not one -- i searched everything. we haven't had one good story about this country being great for years. and it's about time that we started getting the good stories. and we can do it but you need proper leadership. and with that i will take some of these killer questions that i have been viewing. let's go. go ahead, myron. thank you. thank you very much. [applause] >> i already had one note saying, why are we showing mr. trump the questions in advance? we don't show mr. trump the questions in advance. he was sitting next to our chair of the speaker's committee, who was trying to organize the cards. we'll ask the questions. and i know that mr. trump can't wait to answer them. let's go right into politics.
you have flirted, i think that's the right word, you have flirted several times with a possible run for the presidency. why have you never run? >> again, i didn't flirt. people were asking me to run. they wanted me to run for a lot of things, including governor. i kept saying no, no, no. they want immediate to run for governor of new york. finally i just said i'm not doing it. i didn't flirt. people wanted me to run. we are going to see what happens in 2016. we are going to see what happens. i want to see what's going on. this country is it in serious trouble. i didn't flirt. and i think i probably during the speech cleared it up pretty much. i love what i'm doing. i would rather do what i'm doing than do that. but i also love more than what i'm doing, more than virtually anything else other than family, which includes my beautiful ivanka, i love this country. i love this country. i hate to see what's happening. if i don't see the right person, i will do something in 2016.
i will do it as sure as you're sitting here. thank you. [applause] >> do you think chris christie is too damaged to be a viable presidential candidate in 2016? if not, who is the best gop candidate at this stage? >> chris is a friend of mine and a good guy. he's got to get his problem cleared up. no question. you have to get that cleared up and it has to come out very, very good. obviously it was foolish. i have spoken to him about it. it was a crazy set of events that took place. and i would say to chris -- and i will say to anybody -- you have to get that whole thing straightened out and behind him, in which case he would be a viable candidate. certainly he's been devastated by it and hurt very badly by it. you have to look at the polls. at some point it will come out. there are many people looking. i made the statement, i didn't mean it as a negative statement or positive. he's one email away from having a big problem.
that has to disappear. it has to go away. then certainly he would be viable. >> going back a few years, do you regret questioning president obama's citizenship? why or why not? >> not even a little bit. i don't regret it. why would i regret it? he came out with a book that wasn't published, you remember the famous book. it said a young man from kenya. he -- i was offered -- i offered him a tremendous amount of money just to -- didn't want to see his marks. i just wanted to see place of birth. there are three things that could happen. and one of them did happen. he was perhaps born in kenya. very simple. he was perhaps born in this country. but said he was born in kenya because if you say you were born
in kenya, you got aid and you got into colleges. people were doing that. so perhaps he was born in this country, and that has a very big chance. or, you know, who knows. maybe it was all right. i have offered $5 million to see the records. he would have done a great service, because there are -- there are people in this country -- i walk down the street they say please don't give up. please don't give up on the whole thing with the birth certificate. i hope it's 100% fine. a lot of people are questioning the birth certificate. they are questioning its authenticity. i say this. i offered $5 million to see basic records. not the marks. nothing. just some basic things on applications to colleges. i'd love to see what's put down. why didn't a man take $5 million for his favorite charity? what wasn't reported by the press is some time just prior to the expiration date of that offer i raised the offer to $50 million. $50 million.
for charity. pick your charity. $50 million, let me see your records. and i never heard from him. so i would take it, i mean i would take it -- i'd give it to chicago charities and give it to all sorts of charities, and they could use the money. so it's one of those three things. either it's fine. or it's born in kenya. or in my opinion there's a very good chance he was born here and said he was born in kenya. because if you were born in kenya, you got into colleges. and you got aid. very simple. >> perhaps ivanka would like to answer this. what will the new d.c. hotel be like? >> thank you. well, thank you, everyone, for welcoming us here.
we plan to spend much, much more time in d.c. i personally have been down every week for the past year and will continue to come down as we start the development of the old post office building. this is an asset that i don't need to describe to anyone. it sits on pennsylvania avenue. at one of the great addresses of all time. it's a landmark building, a building, the likes of which one could never replicate today. unfortunately it's full potential hasn't been materialized for a long, long time. we are going to change that. we are going to develop super luxury hotel, 272 rooms. the largest ballroom of any of the luxury hotels in all of d.c. unbelievable meeting space. unbelievable spas. restaurants. and really bring in tremendous amounts of life and vitality to pennsylvania avenue. and to the hotel itself. we love d.c. we love this building. for many, many years, for decades my father's been looking and waiting on exploring various opportunities in d.c. but when he came here, he wanted
to do it the right way with the right location with the right development. and that's the old office building. we are incredibly excited and we'll start construction soon and be opened in 2016. [applause] >> 2016, in time for the next inauguration. [laughter] thank you, ivanka. we appreciate your coming here and sharing the podium with your dad. a few more questions, mr. trump, because i think as the more you are being so elucidating, we are getting more questions. what would you do if you were dealing with president putin? >> well, in negotiation the primary thing that you have to do is to get the other side to respect you.
and president putin does not respect or like president obama. so you have a problem. i'm not sure that's a problem that's easily solvable. there is a dislike. but russia does not respect our country any longer. they see that we have been greatly weakened, both militarily and otherwise. and he certainly does not respect president obama. what i would do would be, as an example, i own the miss universe. i was in russia, moscow recently, and i spoke indirectly and directly with president putin who could not have been nicer. we had a tremendous success. the show was live from moscow. we had a tremendous success there. it was amazing. but to do well you have to get the other side to respect you. and he does not respect our president, which is very sad. >> we'll turn to sports.
you said you are interested in buying the nfl's buffalo bills, and i hope we have that correct. you have even spoken with nfl commissioner roger goodell about that possibility. do those conversations give you any sense as to how intense the bidding for the team will be? >> i have no idea. i have no idea if i will be able to. i would keep it in buffalo. we are just discussing it. we had a great discussion. buffalo news is a terrific paper and they treated us very fairly, i will tell you that. we are going to put in a bid. if the bid's not the right bid, i buy a lot of things, but i buy them if the prices are reasonable price or fair price. i don't know what's going to happen with buffalo. if the price is not the right price i won't get it and i won't , be ashamed. i am not going to be forced into paying too much. if i did, i would do probably a good job. i think the people in buffalo,
they already like me. i have a great relationship with the people of buffalo. we'll see what happens. it's about price. i don't know how many bidders there's going to be. probably a few. but we will probably put in a bid and we'll see how that goes. >> one more sports question, do you feel that some nfl owners might still hold a grudge against you because of your involvement in the usfl or because of casinos bearing the trump name? >> as far as the usfl i did a great job. the league was failing. i came in way late when the league was failing. and got a team for peanuts. it was a very small price. because it was failing. it was a failure. and people don't know that. because i came in, it became really hot and people started seeing it, but i came in on the basis you go to fall football. i said i'm only doing it if it's going to be first class football. i consider spring football not to be first class. i don't think it could work in the spring because your television audiences in the
spring -- learned a lot about ratings through "the apprentice." your television audience disappears in the spring. just disappears. i said to them i will do this but -- when i wanted to go to the spring, when they wanted to go to the spring and keep it there and stay that way, i think the opposite. i think the nfl owners, there aren't too many around that remember that because i think six or seven, but i think they gained a lot of respect for me. i actually think -- i have been told by a couple of them, it was amazing the job i did. i got lawrence taylor and sold him back to the nfl. i got lawrence to sign a contract, one of the great linebackers of all time, i sold him back to the nfl. i actually think they respect what i did. and i think they respect it a lot. i don't see that as a problem. as far as the casino business, we got out of atlantic city about five years ago. we sold, our timing was good. atlantic city is having tough times now. our timing is good. essentially i'm not too much into gaming.
would i go in later on? yes. but if i did an nfl team i wouldn't. >> do you ever worry about your brand becoming damaged? what could damage it? >> i don't worry about it. if it happens, it happens. it's sort of interesting. the beautiful thing, again we'll go back to twitter and facebook and instagram. somebody -- instagram, somebody says something about me that's false i will hit them hard. a lot of times they disappear. amazing. i have these wise guy reporters, probably members of the national press club, they always say, trump filed for bankruptcy. excuse me, buffet has used bankruptcy, it's a tool. it's a tool. when i use it, i buy a company, i throw it into a chapter, i then negotiate the hell out of loans and all the problems they have, it comes out, it's a good company. they say trump filed bankruptcy. they don't say that with these other guys.